Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECT. IV.: The surprising, despotic, but pacific Government, established by the Jesuits, by the Force of Imposture, in Paraguay. - The Works of Sallust (Gordon's Discourses, Cicero's Orations against Catiline)
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SECT. IV.: The surprising, despotic, but pacific Government, established by the Jesuits, by the Force of Imposture, in Paraguay. - Gaius Sallustius Crispus (Sallust), The Works of Sallust (Gordon’s Discourses, Cicero’s Orations against Catiline) 
The Works of Sallust, translated into English with Political Discourses upon that Author. To which is added, a translation of Cicero’s Four Orations against Catiline (London: R. Ware, 1744).
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The surprising, despotic, but pacific Government, established by the Jesuits, by the Force of Imposture, in Paraguay.
THE Settlement made by the Jesuits, upon the River Paraguay in America, is extremely remarkable. These good Fathers, every-where indefatigable in improving their apostolic Talents, and turning Souls into ecclesiastical Traffick and Power, began there, by drawing together, into one fixed Habitation, about Fifty Families of wandering Indians, whom they had persuaded to take their Word implicitly for whatever they told them: For, this is what they call Conversion; and is, indeed, the true Art of making Catholics, who have no other Ground for their Faith, but the Assertions of their Priests.
From this Beginning, and such Encouragement, the assiduous Fathers, ranging the Country, and dazling the stupid Savages with their shining Beads, charming them with their pious Tales and Grimaces, their tuneful Devotions, and high Professions, made such a Harvest of Converts, as to form a Commonwealth, or rather an Empire, of Souls. For every Convert is a Subject most blindly obedient.
The holy Fathers, not Fifty in Number, are thus Sovereigns of a noble Country, larger than some Kingdoms, and better peopled. It is divided into several large Districts, each of them governed by a single Jesuit, who is, as it were, a provincial Prince; but more powerful and revered, and better obeyed, than any European, or even any Eastern Monarch. His Word is not only a Law, but an Oracle; his Nod infers supreme Command: He is absolute Lord of Life, and Death, and Property; may inflict capital Punishment for the lightest Offence, and is more dreaded, therefore more obeyed, than the Deity. His first Ministers and Officers, Civil and Military, are doomed by him to the meanest Punishments, and whipped, not only like common Slaves, but like common Felons. Nor is this all their Punishment, at least all their Abasement, which, to a Man of Spirit, is the worst Punishment: Whilst they are yet marked and mangled with the Lash, they run, Colonels and Captains run, and kneel before their holy Sovereign; condemn themselves for having incurred his pious Displeasure; and, humbly kissing his reverend Sleeve, thank him for the fatherly Honour he has done them, in correcting them like Dogs.
So much Tameness and Vassalage is Part, and an important Article, of their Conversion. They are even pleased with their Servitude, and care not what they do and suffer here, for the mighty Treasures of Joy and Liberty which are ensured to them hereafter by the good Father, who gives them all that He has to give in the Next World, and, by way of Barter and Amends, takes all that They have in the Present.
The poor Indians cultivate the Ground; dig and plow, and reap and sow: They make Stuffs, and other Manufactures; they rear Fowls, they breed Cattle, they carry Burdens, and labour hard above Ground, as well as under it, where, in Sweat and Darkness, and in Peril of perishing, they drudge in the Mines. Yet, with all this Industry, they earn nothing; nothing for themselves: All their Earnings, all the Profit and Advantages, appertain not to them, but solely to the good Father, their spiritual Sovereign, who rewards them to the full with what costs him nothing; Blessings, and Masses, and distant Prospects. Their Grain and Manufactures are all carried into his Warehouses, their Cattle and Fowls into his Yards, their Gold and Silver into his Treasury. They dare not wear a Rag of their own Spinning, nor taste a Grain of their own Sowing, nor a Bit of Meat of their own Feeding, nor touch the Metal of their own producing, nor so much as an Egg from the Hens they rear. They themselves are fed and subsisted, from Day to Day, by a limited Allowance, furnished them by the Appointment, and at the Mercy, of their great Lord, a small Priest.
Yet, under all these Discouragements, which are none to them, who seem to have sacrificed their Feeling, as well as their Reason, to the Sorcery of Superstition, they are diligent and laborious to the last Degree, and vye with one another for the high Price and Distinction bestowed by the Father upon such as excel most in their Work and Industry; even the bewitching Honour of kissing his Sleeve. The second Commandment, in their Table of Duties, is, To fear the Jesuit, and obey him; as the two next are much akin to it, and of like Tendency, even, To study Humility, and to contemn all worldly Goods. The Precept, of fearing God, seems to be prefixed for Form, and in Policy only; since it is impossible there should be any Knowledge of God, where the Exercise of Reason is not known nor permitted: Nor can God be said to be regarded by those who use the Images of God like Beasts.
All these Stores and Warehouses, so much Grain, so many Manufactures, so much Gold and Silver, so many Commodities from so fine, so large, and so plentiful a Country; abounding in Mines, in Rivers and Meadows, full of Horses, and Sheep, and Black Cattle, of Timber and Fruit-trees, of Flax and Indigo, Hemp and Cotton, Sugar, Drugs and Medicinal Herbs; must enable these good Fathers, who have renounced all Wealth, and the World itself, to carry on an infinite and most lucrative Trade, in which, though they have vowed Poverty, they are extremely active; and consequently must make that Jesuitical Government a most Powerful one. It hath Advantages which no other Government ever had, an absolute independency upon its People, or their Purses; the whole Wealth of the Country in its present Possession; the People absolutely submissive, and resigned to its good Pleasure and all its Calls; no Factions, not a Malecontent; an Army of Sixty thousand Men, all tame and tractable, devoted to blind Obedience, commanded in chief by a Jesuit, and obstinately averse to be commanded by any other General; a vast Revenue of many Millions; no Trouble in Taxing, no Time lost in collecting Taxes.
Such a Government, whilst it proceeds upon the same Principles, is unchangeable. No wonder these Jesuits are extremely jealous and tender, not only in keeping the poor Indians Slaves to Ignorance and Bigotry, in order to keep them Slaves to themselves, but in concealing so much Empire and Wealth from all the World; especially from Spain, from whence they were sent, at the Expence of that Crown, to convert the Indians, and make them Subjects to the Spanish Monarchy. The good Fathers are so far from meaning any such thing, that they not only carefully avoid teaching them the Spanish Tongue, but press it upon them, as a Point of Conscience, not to converse with the Spaniards. If any Spaniard happen to come amongst them, a Thing which the Jesuits are so far from encouraging, that they care not to see it, he is indeed civilly used, but carefully confined within the Walls of their holy Citadel, the Presbytery; or if, by earnest Intreaty, he obtain leave to walk through the Town, he is closely guarded by the Jesuit at his Side, and sees not an Indian in the Streets. For the Indians are ordered to shut themselves up, and fasten their Doors, upon any such Occasion.
Besides, these vigilant Fathers keep Five or Six thousand Men, employed in several Detachments, (Apostolic Troops!) to watch and scour the Frontiers, in order to cut off all Intercourse with the neighbouring Countries, not yet subjected to the good Fathers. Towards one of their Frontiers particularly, lest the rich Mines in it might invite a Settlement from Abroad, they have destroyed all the Horses, in order to discourage any such Settlement. For these self-denying Friers, who are sworn to Poverty, have an ardent Zeal to secure all these wealthy Mines to themselves, for religious Uses.
These poor, rich, humble, sovereign Missionaries, as they are Masters of such immense Wealth, all consecrated to their own Use, that is, to the Use of Religion, make a proper Display of it. The Churches are spacious, magnificent in their Structure, and set off with all Pomp and Decorations; grand Porticos and Colonnades, rich Altars adorned with Bas-reliefs, Pictures in Frames of massy Gold, and Saints of solid Silver, the Foot and Sides covered with Cloth of Gold, and the Pedestals with Plates of Gold; the Tabernacle made of Gold; the Pyx (or Box for the Sacrament) of Gold, set round with Emeralds, and other Jewels; the Vessels and Candlesticks made of Gold; the Whole, when illuminated, making a Shew almost beyond Belief: A proper Bait for the Eyes of deluded Indians, who, by such fine Sights, and the pious Mountebankery attending them, are retained in due Awe and Wonder!
The Princely Person of the Poor Jesuit is suitably lodged in a spacious Palace, containing grand Apartments, furnished with many Pictures and Images, with proper Lodgings for his Train of Officers and Domestics; the Quadrangles and Gardens all in proportion; the whole Court making a Square of some Miles. Observe, that all the many opulent Warchouses, belonging to the Holy Disinterested Man, are contained in it!
Such is the Situation, such the State, and inimitable Authority, of every Jesuit in Paraguay. There are but Forty odd of these Monks in all that great Tract of Country; and in it they have above a Million of Souls, not only to obey them, but to worship them: Nor do these their sightless and abject Slaves know any other God: For where the true God is ever so little known, no Man will worship Friers; who always paint Him as like Themselves, as They themselves are, in Reality, unlike Him.